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All-Around Guide to CRM Testing

 Guide to CRM Testing - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft has been providing software testing services for 33 years and CRM testing services for 14 years.

CRM Testing: Summary

  • CRM testing usually includes functional, integration, performance, security, usability testing, and regression testing in the course of CRM evolution.
  • Feasibility of test automation: beneficial for CRM testing projects that last more than 6 months.
  • CRM testing team: QA manager, test engineers; optional - a UX researcher, a test automation architect, a test automation engineer.

ScienceSoft helps customers validate smooth functioning of their CRM solutions by providing high quality and cost effective CRM testing services.

CRM Testing Setup Plan

A CRM testing setup plan depends on the preferred sourcing model (in-house, partial or complete outsourcing), the current SDLC stage of your CRM project, and the system’s specific requirements. Summing up the vast experience in CRM testing, ScienceSoft shares some common stages to go through.

1. CRM testing process design

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

  • A QA manager should be assigned to validate that each CRM requirement is clear, measurable, and complete, which will facilitate the development of CRM test cases.

Expert tip: ScienceSoft’s QA managers typically opt for designing CRM requirements in the form of user stories.

  • Representatives of each CRM user group need to take part in the requirements specification design to pave the way for efficient functional and usability testing.
  • A KPI set for CRM testing should be drawn up. It can include the KPIs like tests’ execution time, the number of created and updated test cases, defects rejected by the development team, requirements covered by test cases, test automation rate (if applicable), and others.
  • An optimal schedule for the collaboration between CRM testing and development teams should be outlined.

2. CRM testing preparation

Preparation for the CRM testing process will differ based on the sourcing model you opt for: in-house CRM testing or outsourced CRM testing.

2.1. Getting ready for in-house CRM testing

Duration: Up to 4 weeks.

If you plan to perform CRM testing in-house, your QA manager should:

  • Design a CRM test strategy and plan the required project efforts.
  • Gather a CRM testing team.
  • Consider hiring additional testing talents to introduce optimal CRM test automation or handle the specifics of a relevant CRM provider.

In case of a long-term CRM development project with at least 30-40% of planned test automation coverage from the entire testing scope, you need to assign a test automation lead to outline the test scenarios best fitting automation, design a test automation architecture, choose and configure relevant test automation tools and frameworks.

Tatiana Bessonova

Tatiana Bessonova, Test Manager and QA Consultant, provides some tips for CRM testing:

I advise considering automation for CRM testing when the CRM development process is planned to take more than 6 months. Our best practice for CRM testing (either custom or platform-based) is to automate compatibility testing and data quality validation, and we should remember that performance testing can’t be done manually.

Besides, ScienceSoft’s test engineers run automated regression testing after each CRM software change (customization of out-of-the-box features, introduction of new custom features or integration with third-party apps, etc.)

 

ScienceSoft recommends including the following testing types into your CRM test plan:

  • Functional testing. Functional testing comprises the majority of the CRM testing scope. It checks whether all the required functions are present in the CRM solution and enable flawless workflows for each user role. With platform-based CRM solutions, it’s also important to validate that configurations and customizations don’t disrupt the app functioning.
  • Integration testing. CRM’s business value significantly relies on its capability of data sharing with other enterprise applications (e.g., ERP and financial systems, an email server, a data warehouse). CRM integration testing validates that your customer data is complete, remains intact during data transfer, the introduced changes are visualized in all the connected systems.
  • Performance testing. Performance testing checks CRM behavior under continuous and peak load, measures the effects of multiple users working with CRM simultaneously: loading speed, response time, the maximum number of users.
  • Security testingCRM testing includes vulnerability assessment, role-based access control validation, and compliance testing to ensure the security of sensitive customer data and compliance with applicable regulatory standards (GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLBA, etc.).
  • Usability testingValidates the intuitive and convenient arrangement of CRM’s UI elements, content layout, and the number of usage steps with regard to the need of all CRM user groups and established usability standards and metrics.

2.2. Vendor selection for outsourced CRM testing

Duration: Up to 12 weeks.

To choose a relevant CRM testing vendor, you should:

  • Look for vendors with QA certifications like ISTQB or CSTE, vendors offering services compliant with ISO and IEC standards.
  • Look through the vendors’ portfolios for CRM testing projects with similar prerequisites.
  • Check if the vendor has enough resources to meet your CRM application’s scale.
  • Prepare a detailed request for information (RFI) and distribute it among the shortlisted CRM testing vendors. Based on the vendors’ responses, further shortlist 3-5 providers best corresponding to your CRM testing needs.
  • Request CRM testing cost estimate and proposal from the preselected vendors to make an informed decision on CRM testing ROI.
  • Negotiate SLA and CRM testing costs and sign a contract with the chosen vendor.

3. CRM testing launch

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

To start the CRM testing process, an outsourced test team or an in-house one:

  • Sets up and configures the test environment.
  • Starts developing test cases and test scripts.
  • Prepares CRM test data.

Note: For platform-based CRM solutions, a relevant test environment should be obtained from your CRM provider.

Consider Professional CRM Testing Services

With 20 years of experience in QA consulting and 14 years in CRM delivery, ScienceSoft offers CRM testing services by QA professionals who are well-versed in CRM specifics, CRM testing best practices, efficient test automation frameworks and tools.

CRM testing consulting

To help you knowingly plan and implement a CRM testing project, ScienceSoft consultants:

  • Analyze your CRM app’s requirements and specifics.
  • Advise on an optimal sourcing model, considering the existing QA level and human resources’ skills.
  • Provide a tailored CRM testing plan.
  • Develop a tailored KPI set to regularly measure the CRM testing advance.
  • Perform analysis and mitigation of potential CRM testing issues.
Get a CRM testing consultation

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

ScienceSoft CRM testing experts:

  • Validate smooth CRM functioning and its integration into your company’s IT environment.
  • Verify your CRM data robustness and required usability.
  • Check the CRM solution’s resilience to peak and continuous load.
  • Ascertain CRM’s undisrupted functioning after any introduced changes.
  • Promptly integrate automated testing into the CI/CD pipeline (within 4 weeks).
  • Provide reusable automated regression test suites for continuous testing.
Outsource CRM testing

ScienceSoft as a reliable software testing provider

Our cooperation with ScienceSoft was a result of a competition with another testing company where the focus was not only on quantity of testing, but very much on quality and the communication with the testers. ScienceSoft came out as the clear winner.

We have worked with the team in very close cooperation ever since and value the professional as well as flexible attitude towards testing.

Roderick Schipper, CTO, helpLine B.V.

Typical Roles in Our CRM Testing Team

ScienceSoft's CRM testing teams usually include the following roles:

QA manager

  • Helps design CRM requirements in a testable way.
  • Develops the CRM test strategy and plan with regard to the type of your CRM and its requirements.
  • Decides on test management software.
  • Manages a CRM test team, guides and regularly improves the testing process.

Test engineer

  • Analyses the CRM requirements specification to understand the needs of different CRM user groups.
  • Designs, executes, and maintains CRM test cases.
  • Reports found defects.

UX researcher

Note: CRM system’s usability determines its future user adoption, thus, a UX professional should be temporarily (for 1-4 weeks) involved in CRM testing.

  • Carries out interviews with the CRM user groups’ representatives to gather actual user requirements.
  • Checks the CRM UI’s prototype against user requirements and established usability standards for web and mobile apps.
  • Validates the logic of CRM UI elements’ composition.

For long-term CRM testing projects where test automation is used

Test automation architect

For 2-4 weeks, at the beginning of the project

  • Defines what test scenarios should be automated.
  • Designs the test automation architecture.
  • Selects and configures test automation tools and frameworks relevant to different CRM testing types.

Test automation engineer

  • Develops, executes, and maintains automated CRM test scripts.
  • Reports defects after analyzing the test results.
  • Regularly collaborates with the development team to improve test scripts’ granularity and maintainability.
  • Creates and maintains an automated regression test suite for continuous CRM testing within a CI/CD pipeline.

CRM Testing Sourcing Models

QA management and a test team are in-house

The option provides full control over the CRM testing process. Still, you need to make sure your test team is competent to cater to your CRM app specifics, introduce relevant test automation, and choose and configure relevant test automation frameworks, if applicable.

QA management is in-house, a test team is completely or partially external

This model can help optimize CRM testing costs via quick test team scalability and proven CRM testing skills of its members. Still, you’ll need a well-versed QA manager to design and supervise the testing process, assess the work progress of the vendor’s resources.

QA management and a test team are outsourced

This option offers a CRM testing process transparently organized, performed, and managed by a qualified provider based on the agreed KPIs. Pay special attention to vendor selection and resolve possible communication issues between the QA team, CRM stakeholders, and an implementation team.

Tools ScienceSoft Uses to Streamline CRM Testing

In our CRM testing projects, ScienceSoft's testing teams usually opt for the following testing tools.

Postman

Best for: Manual functional testing

Highlights

  • Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice 2020 for full life cycle API management.
  • Supports functional and integration API testing.
  • Enables testing before UI is developed, which suites agile CRM development projects.
  • Supports REST, SOAP, HTTP API calls and responses testing.
  • Easily integrated with popular CI/CD tools (Jenkins, Travis, GitLab, etc.).

Pricing

Open-source.

Selenium WebDriver 3.0

Best for: Automated UI web testing

Highlights

  • The most popular open-source test automation framework, according to Gartner Peer Insights.
  • Supports UI web testing in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, Opera.
  • Doesn’t support mobile app testing.
  • Lacks convenient reporting capabilities, so may require integrations with other testing tools, e.g., TestNG.

Pricing

Open-source.

Appium

Best for: Automated mobile app testing

Highlights

  • Supports automated functional (UI and API) testing of iOS, Android, and hybrid mobile applications and Windows desktop applications.
  • Allows testing mobile web apps in browsers: Chrome, Chromium, and a built-in "Browser" app for Android and Safari for iOS.
  • Enables code reuse between iOS, Android, and Windows test suites.
  • Lacks convenient reporting capabilities.

Pricing

Open-source.

CRM Testing Costs

Factors determining the CRM testing scope:

  • Complexity of CRM workflows (defines the number of test cases).
  • CRM type (a custom solution requires much more testing time and effort compared with a platform-based CRM).
  • Number of user roles (each role requires additional testing effort and time).
  • Number of intended users (e.g., a CRM solution with more than 50 users requires performance testing).
  • Number of third-party integrations (e.g., other enterprise software or analytical tools).
  • Usability requirements.
  • Specific security and compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, GDPR).
  • The number of customizations (for platform-based CRM systems).

Cost calculation factors specific for different sourcing models:

One-time CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
    • Percentage of test automation.
    • Regression test coverage.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

In-house CRM testing

  • Fully burdened daily rate per QA professional.
  • Number of test engineers and test automation engineers (defined based on estimated CRM testing time)
  • Additional training for your test engineers, if required.
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

As an example, let’s take an iterative development project of a large enterprise-scale custom CRM solution (from 500 intended users) with the following characteristics:

  • 10-month long.
  • 2-week iterations with testing going in parallel.
  • 100 new test cases per iteration.
  • 60% coverage by automated tests.

The rough estimate for this testing project, including test team members’ rates, testing tools’ licenses and test environment costs, tests’ maintenance and regression testing efforts, will be $70,000.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting, software development, and QA company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. Our CRM testing best practices are refined by 14-year experience in CRM solutions delivery and 20 years in QA outsourcing services, which helps us provide professional CRM testing with optimal budget, time, and test automation involvement. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security.